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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Media Watch: On Media Personalities

Until the emergency the media, in particular the electronic media was relatively free.

I am using relatively advisedly.

I had an opportunity to watch, listen and interact with (some friends in the media) between May and September of this year. What I explore here on Baithak is based on, but not limited to, those experiences.

(And I would focus and limit my impressions on some of the major players only.)

First the guests.

You will find the same participants when flicking channels. From the drab and officious Qazi Hussain Ahmed to the King of sound-bites Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Sher Afghan Duracell Niazi.

They pitch the same snake oil everywhere.

(in alphabetical order)

Iftikhar Ahmed - Jawabdeh:

Usually, very well researched and edited. But in turn he can be easily ruffled, as witnessed recently when he and Hamid Mir co-hosted an awaami-adalat type show.

Syed Talat Hussain - Aaj TV

He is also a print journalist and write in Newsline. Tries hard to be neutral but oft times wears his views on his sleeves. Worst journalistic moment was on May 12, when for hours he literayy focussed his camera on one side only. (He could just easily have turned the camera 180 degrees to show who was firing from the other end. But that would have blown and dented the story he wanted to highlight.)

Shahihd Masood - Meray Mutabiq -Geo

Jumped ships recently. Was with ARY earlier on. Insists on adding his doctorate to the programme title. Headed PPP's information offices in London prior to ARY. Comes of (as a friend termed) jaan bawla - as one who knowingly asks questions innocently in order to arrive at the answers. But this trait is beginning to be annoyingly simplistic and patronizing.

Hamid Mir - Geo

He is also a bi-lingual print journalist. Does not succeed mostly in hiding his true biases. Enjoys the power as an anchor and oft times indulges in unnecessary repetitions and editorializing.

This repeating what the guest has just said in the guise of summarizing the discussion is not his weakness alone. With few exceptions many hosts treat their viewers as somewhat retards.

There are other major media players (Kashif Abbasi, Faiza, Tammy etc) that I have missed. Not meant to hurt any egos. More on them another time. Would welcome your comments.


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